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The different types of depression

Depression comes in many different forms, which is why the severity and symptoms can vary. But even then, not all types of depression are the same and all of them require a very specific approach to move towards recovery. Here, we show some of the more common types of depressive disorders we treat at U-center.

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Chronic depression

This type of depressive disorder bears the name ‘chronic depression’ because it implies that those suffering from it experience symptoms for longer periods of time. When you’ve been experiencing depression symptoms for two years or longer, that could indicate that you have chronic depression. Your symptoms would include feelings of sadness and a lack of energy and/or fun in life. You could also have feelings of hopelessness, a disrupted sleep pattern or an abnormal appetite. 

What is it?

Chronic depressions can be light or heavy. The latter implies that you are troubled heavily by your complaints associated with depression during the entire period you suffer from chronic depression. When your chronic depression is more on the lighter end of the spectrum, it’s possible that your complaints are sometimes less noticeable - even though you still feel depressed most of the time.

If you are suffering from chronic depression, you’re at risk of developing other disorders. In addition, the chances of relapsing are bigger than they are for those suffering from ‘normal’ depression. This is where U-center can help you. We don’t just think about the time you’ll be spending with us: we also focus on getting you back to normal life and we aim to minimise the odds of you relapsing.

Dysthymia: a form of depression

A dysthymic disorder is often considered the ‘light version’ of chronic depression. When you suffer from dysthymia, you experience depression symptoms for longer periods of time. That’s what we call a persistent depressive disorder. The symptoms are often less intense than those of a severe depression case, but they are noticeable for long periods of time. Because of the longevity of this disorder, patients are at risk of developing a personality disorder, anxiety disorder or addiction. 

Just like chronic depression, dysthymic depression often lasts for over two years. You’ll feel sombre and fatigued often, but other symptoms are usually harder to notice. The complaints you might have could sometimes be less noticeable for a couple of days, only to return afterwards. They can also worsen in the form of depressive episodes.

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Manic depression

Manic depression, or bipolar disorder, is characterised by distinct mood swings. Your mood switches between euphoria and despair. This mood disorder returns often and is paired with manic, hypomanic and depressive episodes.

Do note that before you start treatment at U-center for bipolar disorder, your disorder must be in a balanced state.

Peaks and valleys

If you’re bipolar, you can feel very energised and overconfident. No one can slow you down, you’re more active and you don’t sleep a lot. This alternates with depressive episodes. During them, you’ll feel down, fatigued and negative. 

These peaks and valleys are interrupted by periods of time in which you do feel balanced. How long these periods of time last, depends on the person suffering from manic depression.

Hypomanic episode

During a hypomanic episode, you’ll experience similar symptoms to what you would experience during a manic episode, only less extreme. That means that your emotions are fairly stable and, in a positive setting, you can even perform better than you normally would.

Psychotic symptoms

Manic depression is often also paired with psychotic symptoms, which make you lose touch with reality. This can manifest, for example, in the form of delusions of grandeur or sometimes hallucinations.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression

Giving birth is a life-changing event. Women can still feel irritable, have trouble sleeping and be emotional after giving birth. For some women, these issues can even last for months after they’ve welcomed their little one into the world. We would call that postpartum depression or postnatal depression. However, symptoms like these can also occur during the pregnancy as part of perinatal depression.

Postpartum depression can also surface a few weeks or months after giving birth. Not unlike a normal depressive disorder, women with postpartum depression can feel sombre, fatigued, lethargic and fearful. In addition, some women feel negatively towards motherhood. It’s possible that you want to distance yourself from your baby or that you’re overbearing. 

The causes of post- or perinatal depression differ for every mother. It’s often a combination of biological, mental and sociological factors. During your treatment at U-center, we take all these factors into account when we create your personal treatment programme.

Recurrent depression

If your depression complaints keep returning, you might have recurrent depression. In some cases, it’s possible that you haven’t fully recovered from your previous depressive episode before the next one is already there. But it’s not just that your symptoms might return after a certain period of time: it’s also possible that certain triggers can make you relapse. 

Seasonal depression

Some people are troubled by their depression symptoms during the same season each year. If this is the case for you, you might have seasonal depression. This kind of depression usually surfaces during Winter, but it’s perfectly possible to have a Summer depression, an Autumn depression or a Spring depression.

Seasonal depression is often confused with “feeling down in the dumps”. If you have seasonal depression, you’ll have similar symptoms to those associated with any other type of depression. That can even cause you to have recurring social problems or underperform at work during this particular time. For Autumn or Winter depression in particular, light therapy could lighten your sombre mood.

Recovery at U-center

At our depression centre, we treat the person as a whole, not just the condition. Problems such as depression are often connected to other issues. U-center’s expertise lies in treating co-occurring disorders. Our unique approach is therefore always completely customised to your personal situation. Your treatment programme is designed in a way that allows you to return to your normal life as quickly as possible.

Want to learn more about the different therapies we use to treat all these types of depression? Visit our treatment page.  

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